The Fenchurch Building (The Walkie-Talkie)

The building is designed by the architectural firm Gensler.

The building is a mixed-use commercial and residential tower.

It stands at a height of 541 feet and has 73 floors.

It was completed in 2018.

The Walkie Talkie Building was built in the City of London, UK.

The building is located near the Canary Wharf financial district.

It is home to many offices, shops, restaurants and residences.

The Walkie Talkie Building has been nicknamed “Walkie-Scorchie” due to its reflective glass cladding which can cause intense sunlight glare during the day time and heat absorption at night time which can cause scorching hot pavement on the ground below it. The building also was originally called 20 Fenchurch Street and it was designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, but it became known as the Walkie Talkie Building because of its unique shape.

The Fascinating History of the Walkie Talkie Building

The building has a unique shape, with a concave facade that reflects sunlight and distorts views of buildings behind it. This design flaw led to the nickname “Walkie-Talkie” because it resembles a pair of walkie-talkies turned towards each other. The nickname stuck, and eventually became its official name after the building was officially renamed in 2014.

The Walkie Talkie Building is now home to some of London’s most expensive apartments and offices, including those belonging to the likes of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, the British singer and actress who is better known to her fans as Cheryl.

Burns and nervous breakdowns

Unfortunately, high-rise buildings also have major disadvantages, even apart from the damage they cause to the environment. Some sites are horrified by the consequences of the architects’ own miscalculations. For example, at least two high-rise buildings have been found to cause bodily harm to people in the form of thermal burns and to melt panels, mirrors and other parts of cars parked nearby, but that’s not all. It turned out that the mirror façade configuration was miscalculated during the construction and design of these buildings, so they act like parabolic mirrors on a sunny day.
Note: A parabolic mirror is a concave mirror created from a thin polymer film that has a metallised reflective coating that can concentrate solar energy. The sun’s rays are concentrated on its surface, turning the mirror surface into a true “solar burner”. On a sunny day, the concentrated rays create a high temperature that facilitates the boiling of tea, the lighting of embers and the roasting of meat in a frying pan.
It is this effect that causes all the problems mentioned above. There was a high-profile case in 2013, when the side panels of a Jaguar parked near the 37-storey Walkie Talkie business centre under construction in London melted, as well as the burning of a carpet outside a shop and the melting of plastic shampoo and balm bottles in a hairdresser’s opposite the building site. These incidents so shocked locals that they competed with each other to fry eggs, hamburgers and vegetables on the pavements. This type of extreme entertainment was subsequently banned and the most affected homeowners were compensated.

Title of “ugliest building”

One of the City of London’s skyscrapers, better known as Walkie Talkie, has been named “the UK’s ugliest new building” by Building Design magazine, Bloomberg reports.

The 37-storey building, designed by Rafael Vinoly, gained notoriety few years ago when a beam of light reflected from the skyscraper melted parts of a Jaguar sports car. The problem has since been rectified by developers Land Securities Group Plc and Canary Wharf Group Plc.

“The problem is that it’s hard to find anyone who has anything good to say about the building,” said Thomas Lane, editor of the magazine. “Londoners must now suffer from the sight of this chubby thing that looks like an intruder on London’s historic skyline.”

Construction of the tower, designed to increase space on the top floors to maximise rental yields, began in 2011, at a time when developers emphasised the shortage of high-quality office space in the area in the wake of the global financial crisis. Leases are already in place for almost the entire building and tenants include Liberty Mutual Insurance and Markel International, Land Securities said.

The Building Design Commission judges add that there are also several complaints about high winds at the base of the building, as well as about the quality of the public space on the top floor. So far, neither the construction companies nor the building’s architect have commented on the “title” awarded to the skyscraper.

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